The European Parliament approved Jytte Guteland’s report on the EU Climate law and endorsed a 60% emission reductions target, rejecting amendments combining emission reductions and carbon dioxide (CO2) removals into the same target. This is a good result. This choice will keep emission reductions needed from industries separate from carbon removals by land and forests and thereby avoid delaying climate action.
This follows the European Commission’s announcement to increase the 2030 climate targets to “at least 55%”, followed by a proposed amendment to the EU Climate Law which presented a proposal for a “net” 2030 target, combining emissions and removals—something EU climate policy has always avoided doing, for very good reasons.
Kelsey Perlman, Forest and Climate Campaigner at Fern says, “The Parliament is standing up for higher ambition as they know the EU can reduce emissions without resorting to tricks like forest offsetting. We agree with Executive Vice President Timmermans that we need a target for forests’ contribution to climate action, but mixing this with the emissions reductions target will make it harder to define the clear and urgent actions needed to reduce emissions.”
Trilogue negotiations on the Climate Law will begin soon. The European Council is expected to discuss the 2030 climate target at the next meeting of heads of state from 15-16 October.